The G20 declaration and Chandrayaan-3 are examples of women doing a “brilliant job”, but “we (do) need to have more and more women in the workforce”, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told NewsBust India Friday in an exclusive interview.
The minister was asked about the opposition flagging key economic issues, including the declining number of women in the workforce. Ms Sitharaman replied by pointing to the finance ministry team that took part in G20 negotiations and the women who worked on India’s historic Moon mission.
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“I am glad they want to talk about all this… and if they do talk then I am fully willing to engage with them and I am sure everybody in this government will answer them with facts in our hands.”
“Female labour participation is not just a problem for India… we need to have more and more women in the workforce. When you saw Chandrayaan-3 and the team which is guiding it being fully of women… it is an inspiration for many Indian women… it is a force for change,” she declared. “I am proud that my G20 team was led by women. The finance ministry team, largely consisting of women, did a brilliant job,” she told NewsBust India.
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Ms Sitharaman declared herself “fully willing to engage” the opposition on this and other issues, and referred to the government’s drive to fill 10 lakh jobs in its ranks in 18 months – a directive issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October last year. “We are helping people get skilled.”
“. So, with data, we can certainly answer the opposition – about how inflation is being controlled, how labour participation is being ensured, particularly of women, and announcements of the government. Every month we are going about filling positions in the central government… “
“10 lakh jobs are being announced and about three-quarters, more than three-quarters, is already… job letters have been given to people,” the finance minister said. It is unclear, though, how many of the job letters distributed were for women.
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Ms Sitharaman then took a swipe at the opposition, “It is these issues on which they should talk. Whereas they do not… except for questions thrown in public and, when we stand to answer in Parliament, they walk out or are never in the House.”